A League of Your Own: Standing Out During a Job Search

Even though the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the job market for insurance agents should grow by 22 percent between 2010 and 2020 (the BLS says that 14 percent is the average growth rate for “all occupations), you’re still going to have competition when it comes to your job search.

Read below for some ideas on how to make your candidacy stand out with potential employers.

You should tailor your cover letter and resume specifically for every job to which you apply. Don’t just send out a cookie-cutter packet. Instead, take a look at the job description and the company’s website to see if you can glean any additional information there about the firm’s needs and goals. Then create a cover letter/resume that speaks specifically to those needs.

Find the hiring manager’s name and address the cover letter/resume to him or her (also send the packet to HR, if the job posting requires it).

In your cover letter (yes, indeed, hiring managers do read them!), talk about how your specific experience will help the company. For example, if the company wants you to service more than 100 customers as you grow a client base, discuss how well you attract and retain new clients (and have hard figures: “increased retention by 25 percent,” “expanded customer base three fold in three years,” etc.).

If you’re working in a recruiting firm such as Insurance Relief™, don’t be shy about asking your recruiter for as much information about the hiring manager and the firm as possible. Your recruiter can tell you in detail what the company is looking for and how to best present yourself. Recruiters do this for a living, and have helped dozens if not hundreds of job candidates get great jobs, so you can rest easy that your recruiter knows what he or she is doing. His or her advice and insights can be gold!

Remember that a job interview is all about your potential employer. It’s only about you in regards to what you can do for the company, how your sales, relationship building, customer services skills, etc. can help it grow. You need to show a hiring manager how you’ve helped previous employers/customers and how your experience thus can help the hiring manager.

When asked if you have any questions, have some written up. Don’t ask about salary, vacation, benefits, etc. (these can wait for a second or third interview). Instead, ask why the position is open, what types of growth opportunities are available, what will the critical first goals be for the person hired for the position, etc. You can also ask your interviewer how he or she thinks you stack up in regards to the competition. If you have any weaknesses in his or her eyes, you can then address them).

Don’t forget to ask about “next steps.” Will the hiring manager be interviewing more people? Will there be second interviews? When can you expect to hear if you’ll be called for a second interview?

Before you leave you should tell the interviewer that you’re interested in the position, that your skills and background make you a great fit and that you hope your candidacy will be successful.

Once you leave the interview, you need to send a “thank you note.” We put the phrase in quotes because it’s not so much a thank you note (although you will thank the interviewer[s] for meeting with you). It’s really another opportunity to sell yourself. You can clear up minor misconceptions. You can bring up something about your experience that you forgot to mention in the interview.

You also should then reiterate your desire for the job.

If you have any questions regarding how to best present yourself during an interview, just give a recruiter at Insurance Relief™ a call. We’re happy to help; after all, we want you to get the job! Contact us today!